Thursday, May 15, 2008

This Gnome Ain't Too Happy

After flaccid, disappointing wings and doughy, bland pizza we bailed on the Happy Gnome and headed to McGovern's where the clientele is mostly dude and what wasn't dudely was mostly blond, except at the roots.

We started out in search of a patio. Matt suggested the CC Club, which I do agree, has the best patio in the Cities. But I was hoping for something above bar food. I suggested Il Vesco Vino where Jimbo told me the small plates are wonderful. There is also W.A. Frost, the most beautiful patio in the metro. I've been wanting to try their food again now that Russell Klein has moved on. Matt countered with McGovern's. This wasn't at all in line with my request that we avoid bar food. Moscow on the Hill? I added that I would not go to Sweeny's. That place breeds assholes the way a barnyard cat births shelter dwellers.

I grudgingly agreed to go to the Happy Gnome. While they do have a nice patio, the food leaves me empty and bitter.

We arrived, top down, enjoying the harmonious assurances from Flight of the Conchords that we were the prettiest girl in the room. Anxious and hungry we made our way through the front door, the restaurant and outside again.

As soon as our waitress arrived I ordered the Summit Scandia. It arrived in a sunny, happy little glass. I love the spicy hints of cardamom. It was delicious. We ordered a starter of wings while perusing the menu. I was happy to see that they have added a bar menu. For just a little moment, I allowed myself to hope that maybe, maybe this time the food would be good. That was about the time that our wings arrived.

Notice the alluring pool of grease. I'm not even sure where that came from. The wings that were described as "braised" tasted more like "boiled" with a sticky sweet sauce over them. Although they were cooked thoroughly, the skin had the unmistakable texture of being raw. I'm still wanted to scrape that sensory memory off of my tongue. They were inedible. I'd never until this day met a chicken wing I didn't like.

Because we're gluttons for punishment (and starving) we also ordered the chorizo pizza. It took a while to come. I tried to take in the scenery as well as the other patrons. I didn't see anyone enjoying their food. A plate of fries was ignored and half a sandwich lay abandoned.

When our pizza did come, the "chorizo" wasn't very spicy or flavorful and the crust was just barely cooked - it was warm and crispy, but still gooey in the middle. The tomato sauce tasted like fresh crushed tomatoes, and paired nicely with the basil they added. There was a combination of Parmesan and fresh mozzarella cheese on top. It was not great, but not absolutely terrible.

Still, we were hungry and I was ready to bolt. After landing safely at McGovern's we ordered a (super cheap) plate of wings with a side of ranch. We filled up on fries and I sat back sunning on their lovely patio.

Next time somebody brings up that Happy Gnome, just knock me unconscious until it's over. Please?


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